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Posted September 16, 2003 thepeoplesvoice.org

by Dan Dvorak

This piece started out WHAT I DID ON MY SUMMER VACATION but it ended quite differently. Our first vacation in many years ended with the last few days in Washington DC , as tourists and with the help of a family friend and her husband, a Navy Captain. Both of them high level Pentagon or something, the only thing that was closed to any discussion what so ever was about their work or position in politics.

We walked 25 miles in the few days were there and the kids got to see a lot of things, but only a fraction in reality. We saw the Lincoln Memorial with his words etched in stone, a reminder of what a good president was capable of, then the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. The greatness of these men so evident in contrast with what now occupies the Whitehouse.


Then the Viet Nam wall, 10 feet high and as long as you can see, etched with the names of the almost 70,000 dead American boys from that protracted war. I searched out in the index the names of some of my fallen friends, 34 west, row 72. His life cut short for nothing. The Korean War memorial was next with it’s bigger than life bronze soldiers occupying a field of graves in full warlike poses, 58,000 more dead. Many more than that, U.N. troops. The World War II exhibit still under construction promises to recognize still more dead.


Our guided tour stopped at Arlington National Cemetery , where as far as the eye could see in any direction, graves of the dead who ‘served’ their country. What tour could be complete without a trip to the Iwo Jima memorial with its 50 foot bronze statues of the flag raising on that volcanic rock in WWII by the Marines in the middle of live gunfire.


Interestingly enough  the base of the monument was inscribed with all of the wars America fought through its 227 year history, some 20 wars averaging about 1 war every 10 years. Astounding as it may seem “wars” such as Panama and Grenada were counted in the total. Iraq II had not made it as yet but I did see some activity in the area.


The ride back to our friends house the conversation turned to his duties on board his Ship included taking charge of ‘burial at sea’ which he presided over five times.


Death, dead, graves, monuments, walls, heroes, war, bombs is all these people think about, respect and admire. Our government has their priorities severely misplaced at best, at worst they don’t share the same priorities as the American people they serve. Department of Defense (now the Department of Offense) the War Department, Star Wars, new generation of nukes all bear witness to the emphasis on death, destruction and war, quite a sad commentary on the “greatest country on earth”. Are we really? We can do better than that.


All through my visit, visions of Dennis Kucinich’s “DEPARTMENT OF PEACE”

flashed through my mind. What an incredible idea that would be. Imagine PEACE being pursued with the same vigor as war. And it makes so much sense. Peace would be so much more profitable than war. Just as cleaning up the environment could become a major profit center, so could peace. Maybe not for the corporations that thrive on weapons and war, but they could convert. Just as they were born from conversion of domestic manufacturing to creating the instruments of war, they could return to domestic projects like smokestack air scrubbers.


As we approach INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2003 , we are reminded that Dennis Kucinich is the consummate PEACE CANDIDATE, as a Congressman from Ohio he is pushing hard in Congress for a permanent Cabinet level DEPARTMENT OF PEACE, the most novel approach to world conduct since the advent of war!


Maybe, just maybe, we can finally elect a man with a vision, similar in many ways to Martin Luther King’s dream,  but the American people are going to have to first want peace, want a clean environment, and elected leaders who are beholding to no one. There is only ONE among all who seek the Presidency. Dennis Kucinich may not be the best known, but he is the best candidate.

© Copyright 2003 All rights reserved by Dan Dvorak



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